Already renowned as a UK centre for the finest real ales, the Lake District now has a new kid on the block in the form of a brand new whisky distillery located alongside the river Derwent near Bassenthwaite Lake. Cumbria has a hidden history of whisky production with the ideal conditions here – fast flowing rivers, clean pure air and high rugged mountains. Colourful characters like Lancelot ‘Lanty’ Slee born in Borrowdale around 1800 was a key figure in a once thriving illicit whisky industry in the region.
A more idyllic setting for this £5m distillery development would be hard to find! The Lakes Distillery housed within a restored Victorian Model Farm is surrounded by the spectacular Northern Fells and will be the base for production of their world class single malt whisky. The distillery’s pedigree is without question and is attracting much interest. The MD is Paul Currie, a famous figure in the whisky business who set up Isle of Arran Distillers with his father in the mid 1990s. The Lakes Distillary is just six miles from Keswick in the North Lake District, located near Bassenthwaite Lake just off the B5291 (Peil Wyke Castle Inn road). The Distillery has plans to become a top tourist attraction in an area of the North Lakes between Cockermouth and Keswick which already attracts millions of visitors annually.
The distillery sits right next to a perfect water source – the River Derwent - which traces its source high up in the fells at Sprinkling Tarn, one of Lakeland’s most spectacular tarns. The stretch of the river running past the distillery is a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest and research has proven that this pure water source has all the vital ingredients for the finest and purest of whiskies.
Top brand The ONE, a unique blend of whiskies from across the British Isles (rather than blends sourced only from Scotch whiskies), has already gone global, securing distribution deals in Belgium, France and The Netherlands. In May 2014 the brand was launched in the UAE and the Distillery has also been in talks with Spain and Poland. The long-term plan is to promote The ONE in Asia. Find out more about new creations - The Lakes Vodka and The Lakes Gin - on the Distillery's website.
The Lakes Distillery near Bassenthwaite Lake is housed within a renovated 1850s Victorian model farm and tours are available inside. You'll see just how the Lakes Malt, Gin and Vodka are made. A tour includes a visit to the warehouse filled with maturing whisky. The Bistro and Bar at the Distillery offer the ultimate Lakeland dining experience in a spectacular setting. Light lunches and three-course suppers are served, along with a variety of cocktails. Private functions are welcome. Browse sample menus and book tours of the distillery on the website.
Base yourself close to the new Lakes Distillery and browse a variety of accommodation around Bassenthwaite, Keswick and Cockermouth here on iknow. Book a B&B, holiday cottage, luxury caravan or lodge around Bassenthwaite Lake, perfect for pre-opening visits to the distillery and for osprey watching around the lake.